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Heterogeneity, redistribution, and the Friedman rule

  • Joydeep Bhattacharya
  • Joseph H. Haslag
  • Antoine Martin

We study several popular monetary models which generate a nondegenerate stationary distribution of money holdings. Across these environments, our principal finding is as follows: a monetary policy that sets long run nominal interest rates to zero (the Friedman rule) does not typically maximize ex-post social welfare if it can generate redistributive effects. An increase in the rate of growth of the money supply has the standard partial-equilibrium effect of making money a less desirable asset thereby decreasing the utility of all moneyholders. A second, general-equilibrium effect, is a transfer from one type of agent to the other. For each environment, when the rate of growth of the money supply is not too high, an increase in the latter away from the Friedman rule may produce a transfer effect that dominates the partial equilibrium effect thereby rendering the Friedman rule ex-post suboptimal.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Research Working Paper with number RWP 04-01.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp04-01
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  1. Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 1996. "Is the Friedman Rule Optimal When Money is an Intermediate Good?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1287, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  3. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, 2002. "Money as a mechanism in a Bewley economy," Working Paper Series WP-02-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1996. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 203-223, April.
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  7. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Haslag, Joseph & Russell, Steven, 2005. "The role of money in two alternative models: When is the Friedman rule optimal, and why?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1401-1433, November.
  8. Deviatov Alexei & Wallace Neil, 2001. "Another Example in which Lump-sum Money Creation is Beneficial," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-22, February.
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  12. Carlos E. da Costa & Iván Werning, 2008. "On the Optimality of the Friedman Rule with Heterogeneous Agents and Nonlinear Income Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 82-112, 02.
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  17. Chris Edmond, 2002. "Self-Insurance, Social Insurance, and the Optimum Quantity of Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 141-147, May.
  18. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
  19. Bhattacharya, Joydeep, et al, 1997. "Monetary, Fiscal, and Reserve Requirement Policy in a Simple Monetary Growth Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 321-50, May.
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